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Pump the brakes on so-called contender, side spiralling into no man’s land: AFL Talking Points – Fox Sports

The AFL world is getting all worked up about an alleged contender, but some experts are getting ahead of themselves.



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Plus one side has somehow avoided criticism amid a horror fall into the worst possible situation.
Catch up on the weekends big headlines in Round 6 Talking Points.
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Round 6
Hinkley sings loud and proud
As the Eagles finished off their second consecutive win, Fox Footy commentator Dwayne Russell was delivering the line their fans wanted to hear.
Competition beware. Here they come! The Adam Simpson-coached West Coast Eagles just starting to climb their way up the ladder, he said on the siren.
Can we pump the brakes just a little bit before claiming the 2018 premiers are back, though?
Theyve headed home with an even 3-3 record which even the most pessimistic analysts werent predicting before they went into their Queensland hub.
Yes, the Eagles have climbed the ladder a bit, but their two wins came against Adelaide clearly the worst team in the league and Sydney, whove been ravaged by injuries and werent expected to do much this year anyway.
Saturdays win over the Crows looked fine on paper, especially given the 33-point margin, but anyone who watched the game could tell you the Eagles werent exactly dominant.
Nic Nat’s cheeky gift for ROB
They clearly still had issues with their mid-forward connection, especially in the first half where they kicked just four goals. Their percentage of 92.7 tells the tale; this is a below-average side right now.
Yes, its likely West Coast will be better playing at home even though home ground advantage is weaker this year but they havent looked anywhere close to the side of the last few seasons.
The fixture wont help. The Eagles have played most of the worst teams in the league the Demons, Swans, Suns and Crows, along with the Lions and Power.
They just dont have many gimmes left, and so theyre going to need to produce a winning record while playing quality sides. That isnt easy, even for a regular contender, never mind one that has shown so many flaws this season.
Were not saying count West Coast out. Were just saying they havent given us any reason to call them premiership contenders this year yet.
Freak’s first AFL goal
Expect North Melbourne to take up ample minutes on the Monday night footy TV shows, because Saturday nights loss to Essendon has set off alarm bells.
The Roos dropped their fourth consecutive match and are now well entrenched in the bottom four on the AFL ladder.
Several Fox Footy pundits expected Rhyce Shaws Kangaroos to push for finals this year Shaw himself even boldly declared he wanted his club to finish in the top eight but considering how theyve lost in recent weeks and their current predicament in an already shortened season, those dreams are disappearing fast.
The Kangaroos are among the best contested ball teams in the competition, but are leaking big scores to opposition teams and are only mid-table for points scored.
Port Adelaide champion Kane Cornes says the Kangaroos are now in a dangerous position.
Star Don in hot water?
They are suffering from being in and around the eight for the last five years and with that comes no mans land, Cornes told AFL Media.
You dont get the elite draft picks that you would if you really bottomed out and you just remain stable, which is great if youre a North Melbourne fan because you know youre going to get a contest on game day and you dont have those disastrous losses. But now they find themselves in 16th position with a lack of talent coming through thats been exposed when no (Jack) Ziebell has been there and no (Ben) Cunnington has been there.
The one good bit of news this year for North has been Melbournes poor form they own the Demons 2020 first-round draft pick.
Essendon legend Matthew Lloyd has big concerns over the Kangaroos.
The system is breaking down, Lloyd told Channel 9s The Sunday Footy Show. They were doing it by hard effort, but the skill and the game plan just isnt there for them at the moment.
Hes all about the contest, Rhyce, but that will only take you so far.
They just need some youngsters to come through to try and revitalise their season, because its still Ziebell, its (Todd) Goldstein. (Jy) Simpkins doing some good things, but theres really nothing to get excited about for the future and the rest of this season.
Veteran boots miracle goal
A virus has spread throughout the world in 2020, so the footy gods seem to have invented a plague of their own.
This particular strain has struck Jake Stringer, Lin Jong, Dion Prestia, Toby Nankervis, Josh Dunkley and, for a moment on Saturday, it appeared to have Fremantle young star Hayden Young in its sights.
Whatever the outcome of Youngs injury, it prompted the Fox Footy commentary team to ask: what exactly is syndesmosis? Luckily for them, Gerard Healy, a trained physiotherapist, was in the box.
It is the real plague at the moment in AFL footy, the syndesmosis strain. You dont just go out for a week with that one, he explained.
Mills pinged for deliberate
A syndesmosis is a fibrous tissue that essentially wraps between your tibia and your fibula, the two bones come together and form the ankle mortise.
If you ram your foot up into that ankle mortise, it splits the two bones apart and strains that syndesmosis. Its a very very unfortunate injury, its not career-threatening but its certainly season-threatening if its bad enough.
I think what were seeing is just the viciousness and the ferociousness of the tackle and the tackling from behind where players dont get themselves set. Then you get twisted to the ground and you cant get your foot out so something gives.
Thanks, doctor.
Spare a thought for Pies list boss Ned Guy.
Not only does he have to negotiate a new deal for Jordan De Goey whos still without a manager but he soon might have to up the ante to retain Darcy Moore, wholl no doubt attract decent offers from rival clubs particularly if he can maintain the stellar form he showed on Friday night.
The out-of-contract Moore was excellent in Collingwoods comprehensive 32-point win against the Hawks, finishing with 21 disposals, six marks, nine intercepts and 409m gained.
‘What is it with you journos’
It was a much-improved performance from Moore, who seemed to struggle against Essendon the week prior, according to St Kilda champion Nick Riewoldt, in his first game without Jeremy Howe in the same backline.
But Moore proved on Friday night that he could not only step up in Howes absence, but also potentially usurp his teammate and become one of the best intercept defenders in the competition.
He has to be the man now in that back six that controls air, positions himself in where the balls going to be, Riewoldt told Fox Footy. Its probably going take a little bit of time, but he was brilliant (on Friday night).
The handbrake on his game has been his continuity. Hes never really been able to string consistent patches of games together.
We know hes got the potential one of the great defenders in the competition and Collingwood need him to be, most importantly. Hes got it in him, but Collingwood need him to be if theyre going to be the premiership contender we all think they are.
If Moore does take his game to new heights this season, he could command a deal with new heights.
Inside 50s can often be a misleading stat. But it does somewhat indicate how good a teams territory/forward-half game is.
And when it comes to this area of the game, the Giants have big issues.
In their 17-point loss to Port Adelaide on Sunday, the Giants lost the inside 50 count by -18.
It was the sixth game in which Leon Camerons men had finished on the negative side of this stat. No team, except the Giants, has lost the inside 50 count in every game so far in 2020.
Giants inside 50 differentials in 2020
Round 1 v Geelong: -2
Round 2 v North Melbourne: -5
Round 3 v Western Bulldogs: -15
Round 4 v Collingwood: -11
Round 5 v Hawthorn: -12
Round 6 v Port Adelaide: -18
Those numbers are unsustainable for a club that many believe is still in the premiership window.
Ebert cleans up Giant
The modern game is all about territory, locking the ball in your forward half and applying pressure to ensure you have the quickest and easiest avenue to goal, rather than starting scoring chains from your back half.
On Sunday, the Giants got a territory lesson from the Power, who are clearly the No. 1 ranked team for inside 50 differential this season.
The Giants havent been one of the strongest forward-half teams in recent years, but on average were able to break even with their opposition. But this season, they have an average inside 50 differential of -10.5 the second-worst in the competition behind the out-of-sorts Adelaide Crows.
Cameron said his side was just a rung off the top sides at the moment.
Weve got to go back to the drawing board and look at some things that are just not quite right, Cameron told reporters post-game.
Their forward-half game might be top of Camerons list.
Rankine’s subtle ability

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